It’s a far too common story to hear about someone going to see a health professional and being told to stop a painful activity immediately and forever. Your knee hurts when you run? Maybe you should quit running. Your back hurts when you squat? Just stop squatting.On the health professional’s end this might seem like an easy, common sense solution to the problem. On the patient’s end they lose an activity they enjoy (and for some an integral part of their personal identity), they develop a view of themselves as fragile, prone to injury, and they run the risk of becoming less physically active if they can’t find a good substitute.

A physiotherapist’s job should be to find ways to get you back to doing the thing you want to do, regardless of what that is. Your knee hurts when you run? Let’s look at how to better prepare you to run the distances and speeds you want to run so that it doesn’t.” Often with the right guidance people can return to doing the things they love as soon as they want or feel they are able to, only with temporary changes in how much they do or how they do it.

Evidence continually backs up an active approach to pain, injury and athletic performance. Regular, hard exercise is good for you and 100% or better function is always the goal of any therapist worth your time. If you have been told that you can never do something based on a scan or a condition, get a second opinion. If anyone ever tells you that an exercise or movement is bad for you, just leave.

Find a physiotherapist who is on board with getting you back to the activities you enjoy, and will find ways to build you up to doing them safely and at the level you desire.